When all the Group Stage matches are done, the Knockout Stage commences. The teams that have managed to fight their way into the top eight of the 2022 League of Legends World Championship are now just a few series away from lifting the trophy.

The Knockout Stage is comprised of three rounds: the quarterfinals, the semifinals, and the grand finals. The quarterfinals begin on Oct. 20 and are played in the Hulu Theater in Madison Square Garden in New York City. The semifinals start on Oct. 29 and are held in the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. The grand finals are held on Nov. 5 in the Chase Center in San Francisco, California.

The Knockout Stage format

There are two key differences between the format of the Knockout Stage and the formats of the Play-In Stage and the Group Stage. First of all: there is no Round Robin anymore. The eight teams are instead drawn into a single-elimination bracket. This means that a win in the first round—the quarterfinals—directly qualifies a team for the semifinals. On the flip side, if a team loses their series, they are directly eliminated from the tournament.

Thankfully for the teams, they won’t be sent home after losing just one game in the Knockout Stage. This is because of the second format difference between this phase and the others: the Knockout Stage uses a best-of-five format. Teams get time to adapt to their opponents and adjust their strategy after each game played, until one team wins its third game of the series and with that decides the series.

The Worlds 2022 champions will be crowned in The Chase Center in San Francisco. (Source: Guy Wathen for The Chronicle)

Drawing the matchups

Although the matchups of the Worlds 2022 Knockout stage are drawn, they are not completely random. Two rules are followed.

The first rule dictates that a team that finished their group in first place will always play against one of the teams that placed second in their group. In theory, this rewards the teams that did well in the Group Stage, as they’re guaranteed to play one of the teams that struggled more during the tournament.

The second rule dictates that teams that were in the same group together cannot end up on the same side of the single elimination bracket.

To illustrate these rules, take a look at the example bracket below.

An example bracket for the Worlds 2022 Knockout Stage.

As you can see, all teams that placed first in their own group are facing an opponent that finished in second place in their respective group. At the same time, the teams that emerged from the same group are on opposite sides of the bracket. The only time two teams that played each other in the Group Stage can meet is in the grand final, should both make it that far.

Prestige, money, and skins for the winner

When the quarterfinals, semifinals, and ultimately the grand finals have concluded, the world has a new League of Legends world champion. The team’s name and player tags are engraved in the Summoner’s Cup to be honored forever alongside previous Worlds winners. Each player receives a special world championship ring as well—a concept modeled after North American sports leagues.

League of Legends tournaments don’t put the onus on their prize pools. Still, the winner of Worlds 2022 goes home with a sizeable chunk of money; they take home the lion’s share of a $2,225,000 USD prize pool.

What most League of Legends fans care about when a new world champion is crowned, however, is their championship skin choice. Almost directly after the winners have lifted the trophy, Riot asks each player to list their top two or top three favorite champions that they played during the tournament. The concept artists, who are on-site at the tournament, will then sketch and puzzle to see which of the listed champions would fit well together. When they have settled on a choice, they start working on an exclusive skin line that celebrates the new League of Legends world champions. These skins usually come out around the end of April.

You can find the schedule for the Play-In Stage here. The Group Stage schedule can be found here. We also have a guide for the Play-In Stage and for the Group Stage. For a list of all teams competing at Worlds 2022, click here.